The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), on Friday, rejected a trade mark dispute raised by a New Delhi-based company against Sharp Corporation, a Japanese electronic firm.

An imitation

Ruling in favour of Sharp Corporation, the Bench, comprising its vice-chairman S. Usha and technical member V. Ravi, said, “The Indian company’s trade mark ‘Sharp’ is an imitation of a well-known mark of the Japanese firm which is first in the world market.”

Dismissing the claim made by Analog Systems, New Delhi, the IPAB said, “It appears that Analog Systems wants to cash in on the growing leisure market on the strength of the Japanese firm’ brand ‘Sharp’.”

Analog Systems is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of television Booster, antenna, two-in-one and converters since 1974 under the style of ‘Sharp’. The company filed an application in 1985 before the Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks, New Delhi for registration of the mark in its name.

However, the Registry refused the registration of ‘Sharp’ in the name of the New Delhi-based company while allowing an objection from Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha (Sharp Corporation), a Japanese electronic firm. Aggrieved by the order, Analog Systems preferred the present appeal seeking to set aside the order.

Sharp Corporation said it was founded in 1912 by Tokuji Hayakawa who invented a mechanical pencil named EVER-SHARP pencil.

Radio set

The trade mark ‘Sharp’ was derived from this.   In 1929, it began to make and sell radio receiving set using the trade mark ‘Sharp’. The Sharp Corporation said the identical trade mark adoption by Analog Systems was dishonest.

Dismissing the appeal by Analog Systems, the Board said, “When the trade marks are identical and competing goods are of the same category, there is a statutory presumption that use by a later adopter is likely to cause constant confusion in mind of the public. Particularly, the latter is an imitation of a well known mark.”

The Sharp Corporation said the identical trade mark adoption by New Delih-based Analog Systems was dishonest